Cool jazz on the pilothouse audio system, lovely dinner, glass of wine, great company (Deanna). The 180-degree view from the pilothouse includes the narrow entrance into River Dunes, several houses along the waterway, a small chapel, the large clubhouse, pool, and boats docked alongside Tivoli. Couldn’t ask for much more! That’s the thing about living on a boat; the view can change on a whim and generally it is in a beautiful environment. South Florida, the Bahamas, and now heading north along the east coast. Nothing exotic as we develop our cruising wings, but still an adventure.
Along the way we have stayed at many marinas, among the best and perhaps even among the worst. Old Port Cove in North Palm Beach is hard to beat. Many amenities and in the heart of Palm Beach county with all the boating resources one could imagine at your fingertips – but pricey as well. We are now at River Dunes east of Oriental NC and its a different animal altogether. Very nice with amenities one would find at the best marina anywhere and better, in many ways, than Old Port Cove – yet relatively inexpensive. It is part of a planned community with 600+ lots for high-end homes on a beautiful wooded peninsula right on the Neuse river on Pamlico Sound with a 400-slip marina to match. We suspect the low cost is a consequence of its remote location; 5 miles out of the “sailing capital of North Carolina” Oriental, NC. The marina offers floating docks, courtesy car, free use of the resort’s facilities including pool, tennis courts, a clubhouse that would rival the best anywhere with an excellent restaurant, mahogany-paneled library, fitness center with steam showers, laundry, free use of kayaks, paddle boards, bicycles, WiFi, etc. It is a beautiful place. Pine woods, quiet manicured streets, flowers, and ponds. Carolina coastal architecture, screened-in porches, fireplaces, Adirondack chairs. Because of this we choose to stay a few extra days; catch up on some boat maintenance, do a boat project or two, and allow some nasty looking weather to pass before continuing our journey north.
This is the beauty of cruising and retirement in general; time. Time to stay if you wish or move on if you don’t. We have not yet fully adapted to this freedom; I still feel we need a plan and should stick to it. Yet, often the circumstances simply demand flexibility. That is the nature of cruising and flexibility is a prerequisite. If you need a detailed plan and a precise schedule, you will not be happy cruising.
We’ve come a long way from our hectic working lifestyle and have made many changes, yet we still have some adaptation to do. River Dunes is one more stop down that path, and a pleasant one at that.
P.S. River Dunes is a great “hurricane hole” as well. Very protected harbor.